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Archive for ‘Technology’

New Google Labs App Lets You Recall E-Mails

I’m a known advocate for the Google Labs apps, except of course when they fail. But there is a reason – it’s because the development team actually responds to the needs of their users.

This new app announced today proves my point. We have all sent e-mails we wish we hadn’t, whether it was a typo or a forgotten attachment. For some of my peers it’s because they were writing late at night while considerably inebriated.

Undo Send will let you recall this email, hopefully before they receiver reads it.

But there are critics of the new app who . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

The Grace Case

In Montana, W.R. Grace and five of its executives are in court defending charges that:

the company and the employees named engaged in a conspiracy and cover up that risked the lives of people in Libby, Mont., by allowing them to be exposed to a type of asbestos stirred up by the company’s vermiculite mining and ore processing near town.

The case is being reported in great detail, and with lots of context, as a joint project of the University of Montana’s Law School and School of Journalism. Here is the website, and here is the page describing the project. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Australia and URL-Blocking

The Australian Communications and Media Authority plays a role somewhat similar to our Canadian Radio and Television Commission. Recently there’s been a kerfuffle over a list on Wikileaks purporting to be the ACMA website blacklist. The ACMA says that under Australian legislation it is required:

to take action if as a result of an investigation it locates content that is prohibited content or potential prohibited content. In the case of content that is hosted in or provided from Australia, ACMA must issue a take-down notice to the person hosting the content. ACMA has no power to direct the removal of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Technology

Law as Algae

One of the many brilliant things that Google indexing has created is something known as the Web 1T 5-gram corpus made available for scholars via the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania.

Very roughly stated, as I understand it, n-grams have to do with the frequency with which one unit in a language is followed by another unit — e.g. how many times in a given body of text is the word “love” followed by the word “fifteen,” and what, then, is the predictability of this 2-gram occuring when “love” occurs. You can see how Google would . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Internet

Shazam iPhone App and Piracy

Music producers are finally fighting piracy the right way – through convenience.

The new free iPhone app, Shazam, recognizes songs and tells you where you can buy it from. It also provides information about the artists and the album, directs users to reviews, and gives you song lyrics.

The advantage with this is that it allows users to pick the song off television, radio, or movies, puts them directly in touch with valuable services, and seeks to commercialize off of it.

If these services prove to be more convenient than users having to search the web for all of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

The Lenovo That Never Was

In light of Ted Tjaden’s post about choosing between a netbook and a laptop, I thought readers might be interested in the “pocket yoga” from Lenovo. It came out of their Beijing (and New Zealand) design studios two years ago (!) but never made it into production. Today, someone published a host of photos of the nifty thing on Flickr, so a spokesperson from Lenovo talked with Design Matters about the project. Oh yeah: it’s a tablet, too.

This, I would buy:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Straight to the Supreme Court of Canada

I need to go to the Supreme Court website from time to time, and although I’m sure I’ve bookmarked it somewhere, it’s a tad tedious to first find the bookmark and then activate it, or to use Google when the bookmarks on your laptop aren’t the same as those on your desktop machine. What would be right, would be if the court had the URL or some such, but in our peculiar capitalist way, that URL has been snatched by someone and is being camped on, as are all sensible variants. And in our peculiar bureaucratic way, the actual . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

About 82% of Canadians were already happy with Obama in February, but this week I suspect he converted a few of the holdouts with his call for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making. All was subsequently peaceful and happy in the U.S. of A., leading to M&A rapprochement between Roche and Genentech and to Gilead Sciences riding to CV Therapeutics’ rescue

M&A developments were not so peaceful and happy in Canada, where the Special Committee formed by Patheon’s Board called a takeover bid by JLL Partners “substantially undervalued, opportunistic and structurally coercive.” Merck and Schering-Plough did . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Happy 20th, World Wide Web!

The folks over at CERN, the home of the World Wide Web, are celebrating today. It was 20 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee came up with the idea. From

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is where it all began in March 1989. A physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, wrote a proposal for information management showing how information could be transferred easily over the Internet by using hypertext, the now familiar point-and-click system of navigating through information. The following year, Robert Cailliau, a systems engineer, joined in and soon became its number one advocate.

The idea was to connect

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Online Defamation – No Limitation Period? reports today that the European Court of Human Rights upheld an English defamation case in which the publication had been online for more than the usual one-year limitation period for defamation suits. [Case of Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v. The United Kingdom]

Though the limitation period runs from publication, each time a web site is accessed is considered a new publication. Thus the limitation period never expires for an online publication.

Does this make sense? (, a publication of the Pinsents law firm in the UK, does not think so.)

On the other hand, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Productivity 2.0

Confession: I make lists.

Although I usually go to the store without a grocery list, I always have a to do list front and center at the office. So much to do, so little time, it is important to be able to prioritize.

Since adopting a BlackBerry, I find myself using the MemoPad function, which syncs to my Outlook Notepad. This is great if I am the only one who needs the list, but what if I wanted to share the list with my team? I could share my Outlook mailbox or some folder in it, but that is not . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology